Five years ago, I met with a matchmaker. I went in scornful. Like many of my progressive South Asian peers, I denounced arranged marriage as offensive and regressive. But when the matchmaker recited her lengthy questionnaire, I grasped, if just for a beat, why people did things this way. Do you believe in a higher power? No idea. Should your partner share your creative interests? Must read, though preferably not write, novels.
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Indian Matchmaking treads into dangerous territory when it allows Sima Taparia free rein to reinforce regressive methods of Indian matchmaking as undeniable fact. During the episode, Basra explained to Justin how she might have rushed into marriage, in part due to her Indian family pressuring her. How could I ever trust you? How could anyone ever trust you? The idea is very much to translate the aspirations, insecurities, and fixations of a community for a global audience unfamiliar with its beats.
The trouble is, over the course of eight abruptly structured episodes, Indian Matchmaking becomes an infuriating exercise in delusion, ending up doing exactly what it intended to rally against: exoticising a calculated, cultural practice that in reality is steeped in decades of misogyny, casteism, and gender inequality.
Indian Matchmaking treads into dangerous territory when it allows Sima Last year on Netflix’s Dating Around, the streaming giant’s first stab at mining rushed into marriage, in part due to her Indian family pressuring her.
Coronavirus: How Covid has changed the ‘big fat Indian wedding’. India’s richest family caps year of big fat weddings. A new Netflix show, Indian Matchmaking, has created a huge buzz in India, but many can’t seem to agree if it is regressive and cringe-worthy or honest and realistic, writes the BBC’s Geeta Pandey in Delhi. The eight-part docuseries features elite Indian matchmaker Sima Taparia as she goes about trying to find suitable matches for her wealthy clients in India and the US.
In the series, she’s seen jet-setting around Delhi, Mumbai and several American cities, meeting prospective brides and grooms to find out what they are looking for in a life partner. Since its release nearly two weeks back, Indian Matchmaking has raced to the top of the charts for Netflix in India. It has also become a massive social phenomenon. Hundreds of memes and jokes have been shared on social media: some say they are loving it, some say they are hating it, some say they are “hate-watching” it, but it seems almost everyone is watching it.
The in-your-face misogyny, casteism and colourism on display have caused much outrage, but also inspired many to introspection. Ms Taparia, who’s in her 50s and like a genial “aunty” to her clients, takes us through living rooms that resemble lobbies of posh hotels and custom-made closets filled with dozens of shoes and hundreds of items of clothing. That, though, is mostly with her Indian-American clients – where men and women in their 30s have tried Tinder, Bumble and other dating apps and want to give traditional matchmaking a chance to see if it helps them find love.
The conversations back home in most cases happen with the parents because, as Ms Taparia says, “in India, marriages are between two families, and the families have their reputations and millions of dollars at stake so parents guide their children”. As we progress through the episodes, it’s obvious it’s much more than just guidance. It’s the parents, mostly mothers of young men, who are in charge, insisting on a “tall and fair bride” from a “good family” and their own caste.
Indian dating customs
Call it anthropological curiosity; call it a metric of my own narcissism. Call it acclimating to the Indian single life after coming of age in the West, where India is often seen as a country of arranged marriages and impenetrable glass ceilings. Imagine eHarmony if it cut to the chase. Unlike online dating services, which at least superficially foster some sort of romantic connection, and which are effectively nonexistent in India, matrimonial websites are predicated on the idea that the first meeting between two paired users will be to chat about their wedding.
They succeed for the same reason every online resource does: They offer convenience and expediency in an arena with high demand for it.
In the Netflix series Indian Matchmaking, the importance of skin color arrives find it smarter to simply opt out of their own endemic marriage market and head from Africa who was never approached by black men for dates.
A week after my mother’s wedding, my mother and her strange, new husband headed to the Madras airport to pick up a visa. They were moving to America together; my mother had met him only once, ten days before the wedding. When he went to ask someone for directions—taking their luggage and all of my mother’s money with him—my mother stood petrified and unmoving, afraid that this man she didn’t know had abandoned and robbed her.
That man was my father, and they have been married for 34 years. I’ve been hearing this story my whole life: They laugh about it now. Their marriage was arranged by their families when my mother was 22 and my father was
Indian Matchmaking: Netflix’s ‘divisive’ dating show causes storm
Your spouse is just a set of qualifications to finally one-up your neighbours or your rival at work. Stagnant social mobility, casteist educational institutions and economic inequality glom together to create families, neighbourhoods, schools, colleges and work places where everyone has similar incomes and wealth, lifestyles, intellectual interests and ambitions.
In other words, the metrics of compatibility all conspire towards upholding oppressive structures. Practicing hyper-individuality to stand out on dating apps is disenchanting, having your personhood disregarded completely is no better. Marital rape is still legal in India.
HYDERABAD: Marriage is a sensitive topic in India, as much as it is an attempting to analyse the effects of Virtual Reality (VR) on dating.
Arranged marriage is a tradition in the societies of the Indian subcontinent , and continue to account for an overwhelming majority of marriages in the Indian subcontinent. Arranged marriages are believed to have initially risen to prominence in the Indian subcontinent when the historical Vedic religion gradually gave way to classical Hinduism the ca. The Indian subcontinent has historically been home to a wide variety of wedding systems.
Some were unique to the region, such as Swayamvara which was rooted in the historical Vedic religion and had a strong hold in popular culture because it was the procedure used by Rama and Sita. In a swayamvara , the girl’s parents broadcast the intent of the girl to marry and invited all interested men to be present in a wedding hall on a specific date and time.
The girl, who was also often given some prior knowledge about the men or was aware of their general reputation, would circulate the hall and indicate her choice by garlanding the man she wanted to marry.
Inside Netflix’s eye-opening look at arranged marriage, your next reality TV obsession
Matrimony sites are online portals that facilitate arranged marriage matchmaking for Indians and South Asian populations. These sites are used by individuals who want to go through an arranged marriage as well as parents who are looking for suitable indian for their sons or daughters. Matrimony sites are religion dating community-based as most Indians who prefer arranged marriages tend to marry within their religion or caste.
The Netflix dating show updates the arranged marriage narrative—but leaves the custom’s major problems untouched.
This slim but jam-packed and small print volume is a study in cultural anthropology, namely the manner in which Hindu Americans attempt to navigate their dual-ethnic identity as displayed through Labirint Ozon. Kavita Ramdya. Bollywood Weddings examines how middle to upper class second-generation Indian-American Hindus negotiate wedding rituals, including the dating and engagement processes.
Many of these couples are in Ramdya’s neologism “occasional Hindus” who display their Hindu religious background only on important occasions such as the rite of passage that is marriage. As a rule, the first generation organizes the wedding, which is largely Hindu, and their children coordinate the American-style reception.
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With well over 50, profiles, indian with photos, we are sure that you will easily find the marriage with your sites. Unlike many other matrimonials sites we check.
It might seem strange to invoke an Alice Walker essay in connection with the new Netflix reality series, Indian Matchmaking , but, here we go. The essay is revolutionary for that coinage. Walker explicitly draws a connection between skin color and marriage. Walker tells us two smaller, adjoining stories, about herself and a friend in their single days. In the Netflix series Indian Matchmaking , the importance of skin color arrives quickly in talk of matrimony, as do other facets of packaged appearance, the sorts that indicate a notion of a stratified universe: This level of education matches with this one, this shade of skin with this, this height with this, these family values with these, this caste with this, this region with this, and so on.
In the series, she takes on clients in India and America, young desi men and women who seem, for all their desire to get properly paired off, equally conflicted about the whole endeavor. The women work and travel; they like their lives and have friends who offer the sort of support a spouse might. All seem to want, at some level, simple, non-transactional, unconditional affection. At the same time, they talk in transactional terms.
A Dutch Girl’s Indian Wedding
Indian Matchmaking is a Indian documentary television series produced by Smriti Mundhra. Indian Matchmaking was released on July 16, , on Netflix. Mundhra named the casting the biggest hurdle of the show, going through a client list of families and calling to see if they were willing to be on camera.
When year-old Manisha Agarwal name changed logged on to a dating app for the first time, she was paralysed with fear. Married for 15 years, she needed a distraction from her sexless and loveless marriage , but was scared she would be caught in the act. Here someone always knows you or one of your acquaintances. Unhappy with her unfulfilling married life, Agarwal desperately wanted to find someone she could connect with. She knew she could not risk having an affair with a friend, so she decided to look for potential partners on a dating app.
For the latest news and more, follow HuffPost India on Twitter , Facebook , and subscribe to our newsletter. She was looking for casual sex, and knew nobody would swipe right for her if she only mentioned her name and age. Agarwal is just one of the many married women in India who use dating apps to find companionship. Although affairs and meetings with men bring excitement to their lives, they also live in fear of the embarrassment and shame of being found out.
We Need to Talk About ‘Indian Matchmaking’
I wasn’t even sure I wanted to have dessert with him. And though arranged marriages may seem like a relic of a bygone age, they are still surprisingly popular around the world. An arranged marriage is a marital union planned by the families, typically parents, of the couple. In the U. In India, where some estimate that 90 percent of marriages are arranged, the divorce rate is only 1 percent. Are low divorce rates a sign that arranged marriages work?
Chowdhury says one woman, who had had a love marriage, ended up having extramarital affairs with men she met online. The woman, in her.
Every reality show has at least one villain. As Sima and the show itself frequently remind us, arranged marriage is not quite the form of social control it used to be; everyone here emphasizes that they have the right to choose or refuse the matches presented to them. But as becomes especially clear when Sima works in India, that choice is frequently and rather roughly pressured by an anvil of social expectations and family duty. In the most extreme case, a year-old prospective groom named Akshay Jakhete is practically bullied by his mother, Preeti, into choosing a bride.
Indian Matchmaking smartly reclaims and updates the arranged marriage myth for the 21st century, demystifying the process and revealing how much romance and heartache is baked into the process even when older adults are meddling every step of the way. Though these families use a matchmaker, the matching process is one the entire community and culture is invested in.
Director Smriti Mundhra told Jezebel that she pitched the show around Sima, who works with an exclusive set of clients. Yet the show merely explains that for many Indian men, bright, bubbly, beautiful Nadia is not a suitable match. The parents task Sima with following multiple stringent expectations. Some are understandably cultural, perhaps: A preference for a certain language or religion, or for astrological compatibility, which remains significant for many Hindus.
Other preferences, though, are little more than discrimination. Divorced clients are also subjected to particularly harsh judgment.
Dating and marriage: Tradition meets tension in Indian-American homes
Now available to stream, the series follows Mumbai-based matchmaker Sima Taparia as she painstakingly works with singles and their families in India and America to find desirable mates for marriage. One client, New Jersey-based event planner Nadia, wonders if her Indian-ness will come into question because of her Guyanese heritage. With the global reach of Netflix, Mundhra saw an opportunity to present a look at dating and relationships through the very specific lens of the South Asian experience that would reach a wide audience.
Indian Matchmaking is a Indian documentary television series produced by Smriti Sima Taparia, a marriage consultant from Mumbai who uses preferences from the “Netflix’s ‘Indian Matchmaking‘ Is Your New Favorite Dating Show”.
Sima Taparia is like a human Hinge algorithm. Card system, except instead of dueling, the players must get drinks with one another. Like all good bad reality dating shows such as recent Netflix hits Love Is Blind and Too Hot To Handle , the dates are largely cringey to watch, and there is ghosting, awkwardness, and family drama. Oh my! But the show has been met with equal parts fascination and criticism.
While Indian Matchmaking carefully and successfully swats away stigmas that surround the concept of arranged marriage—that marriages are forced, or that individuals lack the freedom to make their own decisions— critics have highlighted that the show reinforces heteronormativity, divisions between social classes, and discrimination based on skin color, ethnicity, and status. And while the series mostly opts to steer clear of those conversations, our concern for the mostly likable, relatable cast on their search for love runs deep.
Times and OprahMag. Out now for the world to see! IndianMatchmaking is now streaming on netflix and what an absolute surreal feeling! Thank you to smritimundhra hoodle ferial83 and the rest of the team for being sooo great and making it easy for me to share my story and my family. Extra special thank you to simataparia for guiding me through this whole process.